The Basic Law of Hong Kong and the Basic Law of Macao are constitutional laws that establish the legal principles and status of “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy”, which are completely different from those of mainland China. The Hong Kong Basic Law is a special law, and its status is higher than any other general law except the Constitution. The Chinese Communist Party has ignored the Hong Kong Basic Law and forcibly enacted the so-called “Hong Kong version of the national security law”, which obviously undermines the legal status of the Basic Law and allows the Chinese Communist Party to completely control Hong Kong.
Only a few months after the implementation of the Hong Kong version of the National Security Law, the CCP has used the “Hong Kong version of the National Security Law” to almost completely undermine the independence of the judiciary in Hong Kong, followed by the CCP’s attack on freedom of expression in Hong Kong. Apple Daily, which has been operating under Next Media for 26 years, recently announced by its board of directors that it will cease publication on June 24, 2021 for the safety of its employees.
The last issue of Apple Daily was released on June 24 and was quickly snapped up by the public in the rain. Not only that, some Hong Kong people also passed on their extra copies of the newspaper to other people who were unable to buy it because they were late.
The scene of Hong Kong people reluctantly waving a tearful farewell to Apple Daily was very touching, and it was clear that people’s hearts were in the right place. Many Hong Kong people even discussed online to share how to frame and save the last issue of Apple Daily before dawn to prevent it from turning yellow. This is not only to keep as a souvenir, but also a time to look forward to the early arrival of the great day when the Apple Daily will inevitably reappear in Hong Kong after dawn.
On June 17, the National Security Division of the Hong Kong Police Force sent 500 police officers to search the Apple Daily building on the pretext of “endangering national security” and arrested five senior executives of Next Media and Apple Daily, followed by the arrest of Apple Daily editorial writer Li Ping (formerly Yang Qingqi) on June 23. (formerly known as Yang Qingqi).
The board of directors of Next Media decided to suspend the publication of Apple Daily for the safety of its employees, and Next Magazine was also in danger. And before that, the CCP froze Next Media’s listing funds. This shows how much the Chinese Communist regime hates judicial independence and freedom of press and speech. It is just that the world did not expect that the same scene that happened in Hong Kong in 2008, when many Beijing citizens brought flowers to lay flowers in front of the Google building, also happened to Hong Kong people in front of the Apple Daily building this year.
We cannot help but ask: Why, after so many years of efforts by the international community and democratic countries to promote democracy and protect human rights and freedom of expression, is there now a communist dictatorship encroaching on Hong Kong? In full view of the public, Hong Kong’s freedom of speech and judicial independence have been destroyed and fallen into the clutches of dictatorship, and the people of Hong Kong shed tears to bid farewell to the Apple Daily. Under normal circumstances, democracy should have taken root in Hong Kong, where media freedom and judicial independence have matured.
In the face of such anomalies, what should the free world reflect on? Does it mean that democracies have not done things right or have problems in the past? What has gone wrong? What measures should be taken to correct it immediately? These are questions that the free world should seriously reflect on.
Imagine a human world where the evil communist demons are running rampant in the world, who can be left alone? Now we have seen and experienced firsthand that more and more costs are being paid on all fronts. Any cowardly evasion under the guise of a clear-cut defense will cost human society, including each and every one of us, a greater and heavier price now and in the future.